Dr. R.N. Sreelatha to chair 51st Senior Musicians State-level Conference in Bengaluru

Karnataka Ganakala Parishat to confer ‘Ganakala Bhushana’ title on the Mysuru-based Classical Musician

The Karnataka Ganakala Parishat (Musicians Association) has unanimously elected Dr. R.N. Sreelatha, the well-known Classical Karnatak Musician of Mysuru and Managing Trustee of Shruthimanjari Foundation, as the President of 51st Senior Musicians State-level Conference to be held from Nov. 16 to 20 at PATTI Auditorium, Sri Rama Mandira, N.R. Colony, Bengaluru. Dr. Sreelatha will conduct the deliberations of the Conference on all five days. She will be awarded ‘Ganakala Bhushana’ on Nov. 20 by the chief guest Vishweshwara Bhat, Chief Editor, Vishwavani Kannada Daily, at the valedictory function.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Dr. Sreelatha expressed her happiness on being unanimously elected as the President of the 51st Senior Musicians State-level Conference in Bengaluru and for ‘Ganakala Bhushana’ title.

“It is a real honour for any musician to be recognised by a Music Academy itself and is definitely a milestone in my life,” she said with pride.

Dr. R.N. Sreelatha is married to M.K. Seetharam, a retired Electronics Engineer, AIISH, Mysuru and resides in Kuvempunagar, Mysuru. They have two sons. Elder son M.S. Sugosh, a Marketing and R&D Engineer at Melbourne, is married to Anupama Nagesh, a Software Engineer and younger son Dr. M.S. Sumanth, a Post Doctoral Fellow (Biochemistry Department) at Cornell University, New York, is married to M.V. Deepthi, also a Post Doctoral Fellow (Genetics Department) at Cornell University, New York. While Sugosh has learnt violin and gives concerts at Australia, Sumanth has learnt mridanga.

Dr. R.N. Sreelatha, an academic as well as a performer, was born in a traditional Classical Music family of famous music village of Rudrapatna in Hassan district on June 4, 1952, to Vid. R.K. Narayanaswamy and Savitramma.

Dr. Sreelatha started her music training from her father Vidwan Narayanaswamy, who was a direct disciple of Musiri Subramanya Iyer of ‘Great Thyagaraja Shishya Parampara’ which is as follows: Saint Thyagaraja – Manambuchavadi Venkatasubbayyar – Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer – Sabesh Iyer – Musiri Subramania Iyer – R.K. Narayanaswamy – Dr. R.N. Sreelatha.

Later, she continued her music training with her elder brother Vidwan R.N. Thyagarajan of ‘Rudrapatnam Brothers’ fame. In addition to Classical South Indian music, Dr. Sreelatha has a wide repertoire in semi-classical North Indian music, bhajans, abhangas, devaranamas, slokas and vachanas.

She is an ‘A-Top’ Grade artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan. She was a Member of Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy (Government of Karnataka) in 2017-2019.

Dr. Sreelatha holds a Doctorate degree in Music for her thesis entitled ‘Aspects of Manodharma in Karnatak Music’. She is the first woman to get a Doctorate in Karnatak Music in Karnataka State. So far, she has successfully guided eight Ph.D students in Music.

She is a retd. Principal and Professor of Vocal Music (Karnatak) at University College of Fine Arts, University of Mysore. She has been performing in the field of music for the last 55 years.

Concerts experience: Dr. Sreelatha has performed at the Mysore Palace Durbar Hall, Mysuru and in Madras at The Music Academy, Mylapore Fine Arts, Mudra, Nadasudha, Kapali Fine Arts, Indian Fine Arts Society and for Doordarshan Chennai, besides many other Festivals.

She has performed widely in Karnataka and also in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Andhra Pradesh besides other venues in India.   She toured Malaysia and Singapore in 1999 and was invited by Sri Venkateswara Temple, Pittsburgh, USA, in 2002 and 2003 to teach Karnatak Vocal Music.

J. Srinivasan, Secretary, Board of Directors, Sri Venkateshwara Temple, in his letter to the University of Mysore, wrote: “Only those teachers whose performance is commendable are invited twice. During her assignment this summer, she continued to impress all of us and earn our respect with her scholarship, flawless conduct and teaching skills in imparting music to students of different ages and level of proficiency.”

Dr. Sreelatha gave a concert and conducted workshop on Dasara Padagalu in Melbourne – 2017 and 2019. She has given lecture-demonstrations on ‘Manodharma Sangeetha’ at Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, Bengaluru and ‘Varnas of Veena Kuppayyar’ at Vijaya College of Music, Bengaluru, ‘Music of Veena Kuppayyar Compositions’ at Kerala University, Trivandrum. She has been contributing to ‘Tillana’, a music monthly of Ganabharathi, Mysuru.

Master Recording Co. released her cassette ‘Ganaratnavali.’ She herself  has brought out  cassettes/ CDs ‘Dasamanjari’ in 2002; ‘Geetha Bhairavi’ and ‘Hariya Nenesida Dinave’ in 2004.

Dr. Sreelatha is the Managing Trustee of Shruthimanjari Foundation, an exclusive institution for promoting Classical Music since 24 years. National Open School invited her to frame the syllabus for Karnatak Music in December, 2002. 

She has penned 15 books on Classical Music which is useful to all music learners up to graduation and one translation work of Sangeetha Saramrutha, published by Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, Bengaluru in 2020.

Awards and Honours: A tamboora was presented to her by Vidwan Dr. M. D. Ramanathan in appreciation of five first prizes she won at Indian Fine Arts Society, Madras. In the music competitions, hosted by The Music Academy, Chennai, she got nine first prizes in 1972-73.

She has been honoured with several titles and awards including ‘Sangeetha Ratna’ title by Bharatiya Dharma Sammelana (1985), ‘Lalitha Kala Ratna’ by Sri Lalitha Kala Academy, Mysuru (1997), ‘Nadajyothi’ by Thyagarjaswamy Bhajana Sabha, Bengaluru (2000), ‘Sangeetha Kalatapasvi’ by Sri Purandara Thyagaraja Aradhanotsava Samithi, Mysuru (2002), ‘Sangeetha Saraswathi’ by Bhakthi Bharathi Pratishtana (2006), ‘Karnataka Kalasri’ by Sangeetha Nritya Academy, Bengaluru (2006) and more.

She was Expert Committee Chairman, Annual Music Conference, Karnataka Ganakala Parishat in 2017; She was the observer at the Music Conference at Bangalore University (1987) and Member, Board of Studies, Bangalore University. She has been Chairman, Board of Examinations, University of Mysore.

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